Forum Index > Gear Talk > He's old. And his skin is cold.
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OlyBoots
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PostTue Jan 06, 2015 4:38 pm 
I have yet to hit on the best clothing solution for: It's summer in the PNW, you've had a typically rigorous day, you've hit the weather perfectly wrong, but it's awesome anyway. Steady light rain. You've hiked in minimal layering all day, maybe even without a shell, but now you're ready to stop for the night. You're obviously wet, from sweat if not rain (no difference), and you're body's oily even after your synthetics "dry out". But soon you're no longer generating heat, you're wasted, and start to cool. Still raining, maybe 42 degrees F, at any PNW meadow-level camp. You chill down fast, your hands chill and stop working, and you have to get in the bag, in the tent, now. Happened to me just like that in 2013, September in the Pasaytens. No warmth left for hanging out in the open. I always have dry layers and a dry bag, but I need a surprising amount of dead-air-space around my skin in these exact conditions, to be out in the typical air. I have a new OR Floodlight, 800 down in a WP shell, but already suspect that it's not going to be thick enough. Would be eager to know if anyone else who's prone to be very chilled when tired has a technique. I'm a 63 year old duffer. Be well.

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HitTheTrail
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PostTue Jan 06, 2015 5:10 pm 
Yeah, I am older than you and have Raynaud's syndrome. That's where your hands and feet get cold to the point of not working even in the summer when you start to chill just the slightest. The secret (at least for me) it to never let my core body temps get below normal. That means always have a dry body. The most practical solution is to strip off and put on dry base layers the second you stop for any reason or any length of time. If I feel I am starting to cool down I layer up with everything I have. Worse comes to worst, get in your bag until your hands get warn. That tends to keep things under control.

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Bernardo
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PostTue Jan 06, 2015 7:05 pm 
If this is age related then maybe exercising your cardio system would help. Also, how about carrying a nice thick wool sweater with a cap and gloves and maybe some smart wool long underwear. That would have to warm you up.

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nuclear_eggset
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PostTue Jan 06, 2015 7:36 pm 
For me, in most cases, I need to cool down *just* enough to stop producing moisture, then put on a fleece *and* a puffy. Sometimes, with the right shirt, just a long sleeve shirt and puffy will be enough, but not always. Oh, and a hat.

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OlyBoots
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PostWed Jan 07, 2015 8:09 am 
I understand and agree with all these comments. My issue is specifically when a steady rain is falling and will continue to fall. I'm looking for the adequate combination of insulation covered with a WP shell. A nice big down hooded puffy would be perfect, but they would all require an oversized shell in order to linger outside, other than this OR Floodlight, and I'm thinking it's not puffy enough. Steady rain, dark, light wind, 40 degrees, anywhere around here at 6000'. Tired, dry, don't want to bag down yet. Sitting on a butt pad in the steady rain and comfortable. I should have this nailed down by now.

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Cyclopath
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PostWed Jan 07, 2015 8:36 am 
I use a wool base layer instead of synthetics, partly because it keeps most of it's warming power when it's soaked. Honestly I try not to go backpacking in a downpour, sometimes I get it wrong but if I know one is coming, I'll camp near the car with a big tarp to string up, or plenty of extra gear. If I'm out and a storm rolls in, I usually just crawl into my tent when I get camp set up.

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payslee
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PostWed Jan 07, 2015 9:57 am 
Chemical hand / body warmers. No matter how well I insulate, once I've stopped moving I don't generate enough heat. This goes triple when it's raining. But even a small heat source like this, often one tucked in my torso layers and one to hold in my blue shriveled hands, makes a HUGE difference. I stop shivering, and my layers actually have some heat that they can retain. They last for hours, easily long enough to see you through camp chores, dinner, and until you're asleep in your toasty warm bag. -payslee

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nuclear_eggset
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PostWed Jan 07, 2015 12:06 pm 
In those conditions, I skip the fleece and do long sleeve (but thin) shirt, lighter puffy (an older, snug fitting Mountain Hardware puffy) and my regular shell (an REI eVent jacket - tested at the store to make sure that the regular size would *just* fit the puffy without significantly compressing it. Of course, the gear has to stay *dry* while moving. No hood on the puffy, but a wool hat under the jacket's hood (or the OR Seattle Sombrero, which I find to be surprisingly warm. But, at least for me, *nothing* is going to be comfortable for very long unless I get my tent up. That said, I'm reminded of what I heard from a guy I talked to about staying warm skiing - there are cold receptors on various parts of your body that when *they* feel cold, make your whole body think it's cold. Like, your cheeks/face. So, if I'm really cold, I wear a balaclava that covers my cheeks. For me, the ears are the same. Keep those small areas covered, and I'm significantly warmer than if everything else is the same, but those areas aren't covered.

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Randito
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PostWed Jan 07, 2015 4:00 pm 
NOLS provides the following guidance on their winter travel textbook. Slow your travel pace towards the end of the day -- allowing any persparation to evaporate while you are still moving. As you slow and dry out add layers to keep yourself warm. Eat a snack to stimulate the metabolism before stopping. If cold/numb hands are your biggest issue -- get or make super-sized overmittens than may be worn over your gloves. Zippo make hand warmers that run on white gas which are useful on multi-day trips (at least if you are using white gas in your stove)

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Cyclopath
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PostWed Jan 07, 2015 4:08 pm 
nuclear_eggset wrote:
there are cold receptors on various parts of your body that when *they* feel cold, make your whole body think it's cold.
Top of my back, across my shoulder blades. If I'm a little cold there, I'll get a chill through my whole body.

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MtnManic
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PostWed Jan 07, 2015 7:07 pm 
Yup, I can be out snowshoeing or skiing in short sleeves (and sometimes with the 100 weight fleece bottoms rolled up to the knee) and be perfectly comfortable - but I can get real cold when I stop moving if it's even 60 out in the summer. Go figure. I think on New Year's I was the only person to hike in the cold with short sleeves while everyone else was bundled with puffies over a layer. Besides the suggestions above, the one time I got so cold it *could* have gotten bad, I threw up the tent and crawled into the sleeping bag for a while after putting on dry clothes. I was fine after that.

Backpacking: limited to one pack at a time. Cameras: limited to as many as I can carry.
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iron
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iron
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PostWed Jan 07, 2015 10:20 pm 
nalgene bottle with boiling water. tuck in cold places.

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Gwen
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PostWed Jan 07, 2015 11:08 pm 
I've long ago switched to the comforts of Merino wool for backpacking and day hiking. Breathes well, keeps you warm even when wet, dries quickly, goes for days before stinking. I have lightweight merino wool tees (Icebreaker) and slightly heavier weight long sleeve hoodies (Ibex). I hike in a merino wool skirt (Smartwool) with men's merino wool boxer-briefs (Ibex) or merino wool long underwear (multiple brands). When I stop moving, I let myself cool to just comfortable and then the puffy goes on right away. If conditions warrant it, the rain shell goes on too. I also find that I have a hard time keeping myself warm when my metabolism drops, which is usually at the end of the day just a bit after I've stopped moving, so getting a good snack in me is also pretty important, even if dinner is going to be right around the corner. Odds are I haven't had anything substantial since lunch so a Snickers is a good way to keep the body burning.

Tomorrow's not promised to anyone, so be bold, scare yourself, attempt something with no guarantee of success. You'll be amazed at what you can achieve. -Olive McGloin
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HitTheTrail
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PostThu Jan 08, 2015 1:00 pm 
A few years ago up at Larch Lakes (Entiat) I failed to change out of my wet base layers before setting up camp on a warm summer day and chilled down very fast. By the time I got camp set up I had to get in my down bag with everything on and sip hot water for about half an hour before I got feeling back in my hands.

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RumiDude
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PostFri Jan 09, 2015 1:20 pm 
RandyHiker wrote:
NOLS provides the following guidance on their winter travel textbook. Slow your travel pace towards the end of the day -- allowing any persparation to evaporate while you are still moving. As you slow and dry out add layers to keep yourself warm. Eat a snack to stimulate the metabolism before stopping.
This is a very good practice to follow, even in warm/hot weather. I like to start slowing and allow myself to dry out if possible. I usually wait to eat a snack untill I reach my destination, but I generally eat nuts throughout the day which helps. I have found a layering system which works for me. I like synthetics which wick. Additionally I will put on an old Marmot Windshirt directly over my shirt when I stop. This is lined with DriClime fabric which wicks the moisture away from my shirt. Usually by the time I am ready to get into bed, I am completely dry on my upper body. I have not found a similar solution for my lower body. Many times my waistband is still damp. Like Hit The Trail, I have Reynaud's and have to be very careful in Winter. Once they get to a certain point, my only solution is to get my feet and/or hands warm by one way or another. When my feet reach that point it is painful to walk. But my Reynaud's can be set off simply by putting my feet in my cold shoes in the morning, or grabbing something cold, such as a stake, tent pole, canister, pot, etc., with my bare hands. Anyway, because of Reynaud's, I have learned some tricks to keep warm. There is another related phenomenon which can chill me and that is exercise induced chills. I think this is definitely age related. First time I experienced that was in my mid 30s after a century bike ride. It usually comes a little later, especially in my sleep, but can come just a hour or so after I stop. This is a deep shilling cold like a fever. I generally sweat as well. Mybe this is part of your issue. The only solution for that I have found is simply cutting back on the length and intensity of my hiking. That's tough when you have to ascend 3000+ feet. The heat of the day also affects this. Anyway at 62yo, I kinda know know what you are experiencing. It is just an adjustment to life. YMMV Rumi

"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."
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